Palm Springs

Today is Wednesday. That mean we’ve been here four days and we’ll enjoy our 5th nite-nite tonight.

My last post was on Sunday. When we arrived the temperature was 100+ and it was still around 90 when we finally went to bed. Those are outside temps, of course. Inside it’s a comfortable 72 because the A/C runs constantly, 24/7, in every hotel/motel/resort room in every village in this part of the country. The electricity necessary to make all that happen is immense but, as luck would have it, there is one of the largest wind farms in the world. I’m guessing about “in the world” but the Palm Springs Farm is really BIG. So big that there is a local company that provides self-guided tours of the farm for the paltry sum of $24.50 a person. I’m pretty sure we won’t take that tour. I don’t see the logic in taking a self-guided tour of a facility that I can view for nothing simply by driving back and forth on I-10. True, there wouldn’t be the drama of driving on roads that weave themselves around the towers on which 150 foot long blades of death spin uncaged above our heads killing birds that dare to investigate them too closely. What fun would that be?

We’d rather take a ride on the tram, one of the things on our to-do list, but wait! It’s closed for maintenance until the 10th. Not a big deal, really, because there are many other things to do here.

For instance, just driving around looking at stuff, using up all that $7.09/gallon gas. We expected that.

I’m complaining, aren’t I? Sorry. We’re actually enjoying ourselves. One fun activity is visiting thrift stores. We do that wherever we go. Kinda lame, you might think, but we enjoy it. That’s what we did on Monday in addition to grocery shopping to get the items we missed on our Sunday shopping spree.

There’s a pool here that we’ve walked passed a few times, but haven’t taken that next step to shed our clothes, jump into a skimpy swimming suit, and test the water. I suggested that we hit the hot tub first, but since it’s been over 100 degrees pretty much every day that seems kind of dumb. So, we won’t do that.

Yesterday we went to see the Salton Sea. Never been there and decided it would be a nice trip. I made sandwiches which we packed into the new foldable cooler we got for that purpose, choosing a foldable one that can be placed in Diane’s already overweight suitcase. Actually, we’ll fill the foldable cooler with excess items from Diane’s overweight suitcase and it can be her carryon.

On the way to see the Salton Sea we saw a sign pointing to Mecca. We’ve always wanted to go to Mecca so we went.

Turns out it’s not what I expected, but it was interesting. Then we continued on to the Salton Sea.

We drove down the west side of the sea to what we considered a likely place to see the sea but the road was closed. They should have put a sign on the highway to save adventurous people from wasting their time.

So, we made our way north to the top of the sea and headed east so we could venture down that side to a designated state park. We drove for many miles looking for an entrance to the state park. Turns out there are many entrances that head toward the beach but they don’t have signs for the little gravel exits along the highway. We noticed that there weren’t any vehicles along the shore which was probably due to the extreme heat. All the smart people stayed home with their air conditioners.

We finally found an entrance that led us to a number of picnic tables and ultimately to a covered one near a restroom. And, it had the only handicap parking slot in the entire park.

That’s where we ate our sandwiches, waved at a couple of park rangers as they drove through the park. Then I walked down to the shore thinking I’d like to see how salty the Salton Sea is but changed my mind when I remembered a small sign on the fence when we entered the park. I said something about poisenous algae in the water. Looking around, I saw the culprit and saved my own life by not touching anything. Also, there was a particularly nasty smell down by the shore.

Then it was time to leave.

On the way back it became abundantly clear that we were traveling through the date palm capital of the world.

I’m guessing, of course, because I really don’t know if that’s true. I just know we saw many dozens of orchard filled with thousands and thousands of date palms ripe with fruit all protected with bags.

When I saw all those bags around all that fruit I was impressed with the monumental effort it must have been for people to do all that bagging.

Amazing.

Next stop is Indio. I think.

Combat Ear Protection

Have you seen the commercial about combat ear protection failures? Surely you have, but if not, here’s a little background. From 2003 to 2015 3M apparently provided faulty combat ear protection to the military. I’m thinking, OK, if that’s true then vets deserve compensation. Once that thought is gone my brain takes me back to 1965 when I was sleeping one deck below the aft 5″/38 Caliber deck gun on a vintage Navy destroyer. I was part of the ship’s crew on DD-808.

A little research will reveal that 1965 was near the beginning of our Navy’s involvement in the Viet Nam war. I do not know if my fellow military vets who were assigned duty “in country” were offered combat ear protection but I’m confident that all of them were subjected to a lot of noise from weapons of various types. I do know for sure that no ear protection was supplied to me or my shipmates on DD-808. Sleeping off a mid-watch while the gunners shot that gun above my head, continuously throughout the day, was difficult. This happened for months on end during our participation in that war. Those deck guns were incredibly loud and shook the entire ship when fired. Anyone on a destroyer during that time will know what I’m talking about. Exciting stuff for an 18-year-old.

Now, in my late 70’s, tinnitus is my constant companion. I can’t say for certain the noise to which I was subjected back in my Navy Days is the cause of this ailment, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t help.

Just sayin.

Guess What!

It’s that time of year again where the sun came out for a while and caused pretty much every green thing in the area to spring forth with pollen. Because of that, Diane finds it necessary to spend most of her time indoors so she can breath. It’s really sad that the sound of a lawnmower anywhere in the neighborhood causes her to hurry inside and make her rounds to ensure all the windows are closed. It’s that serious because the fragrance of mown grass pretty much shuts down her ability to breath comfortably. I really didn’t know it was so severe when I bought her that new riding lawnmower but I got a really good deal and couldn’t take it back. So, I’ll mow the grass.

Now that the worst is over she is on a mission to replant all the pots that have been gathering dust in Mom’s garage all winter long. I know this was going to happen when Diane showed up with bags of dirt in the car when she picked me up yesterday.

There were 3 each of these bags but I left 1 each at our hill house the remainder were transported to Mom’s creek house.

This is why I call it the Creek House. It has a creek running through the back yard. Milton Creek to be more specific. It’s very peaceful.

This is Diane hard at work with one of her dirt bags. Doesn’t she look great?

There were 3 each of these bags but I left 1 each at our hill house the remainder were transported to Mom’s creek house. Before we could get the bags into the Hill House we had to navigate our way around Gabby, our neighbor’s guard goat. Our garage door was left open, for some reason, and she came in to get out of the rain. She’s pretty crafty. Actually, she’ll go through any unguarded door she encounters, including the one to our RV. So, we generally keep doors closed.

Last Sunday, Mother’s Day, The entire Walters Clan came to visit. We are thankful to be close enough, geographically, that visits are simple and often. This time they brought Jessiah, a Grand Nephew on Daniel’s side of things. Jessie is about the most calm baby (8 months) I’ve ever encountered. Mr. Mellow. It was a treat, too, to see Pastor Jeran who is home from school (Corban University) for the summer. He’s going to be the Youth Pastor for the family’s church all summer. He was surprised that they plan to pay him to do it. I have no doubt he would have done it for free. He’s that kind of guy. So, he’s going to be getting a lot of experience in a church he’s been going to for a lot of years. The congregation was overjoyed with the announcement that one of their flock was coming home to teach. We heard there was a standing ovation for him. We’re happy for him.

Now I have to get busy jacking up the RV so we can remove the rear wheels and, with the help of some savvy friends, figure out a way to release the brakes so we can use the rig. As it sits, it’s not going anywhere.

Later….

Another Adventure

This time of year for Diane and me is devoted to celebrating our Anniversary. Normally it amounts to us communing with nature by sequestering ourselves in our motorhome near the beach. The ocean air is like a healing balm for Diane. It makes her happy, and anything that makes Diane happy, makes me happy.

Sadly, we had to venture forth without the shelter of the RV because it decided it wanted to stay home. In a roundabout way, it told us that it’s been setting for so long that it’s going to take more than a twist of the ignition key to pry it from its parking spot next to our garage. The exclamation point to that was when she locked up her brakes and refused to let go. Everything else works just fine, but nothing we did would convince her to take us to the beach.

So, we transferred all the provisions to the car and drove ourselves to the land of the healing ocean air. When we return we’ll get busy and convince her that she really should go with us the next time.

Since we left our accommodations at home, Diane made reservations at a couple of condos, in the vicinity of the friends we were supposed to be “camping” with that would just have to do for, this trip. The first one was for 3 days in Newport, Oregon.

It was pretty nice and only 6 miles from South Beach State Park where we were supposed to be. That’s where Les & Sophie, and Cliff & Susie were staying. Although they were parked near the beach, we had a pretty nice view from our condo.

Our time was spent visiting with out friends, like we always do which makes me wonder how we could possibly come up with MORE things to talk about. But, we always do. And, we eat really good meals. Each couple is responsible for cooking one dinner for the group during the course of our stay. We eat quite well. When it’s our turn I campaign for beans and weenies but it never happens. Instead we have stuff like pork loin, or steaks, and things that go with them. One of these days I’ll get my way but it will have to be on a trip that lasts longer than 4-5 days.

After Newport, we moved up the coast to Neskowin and checked in to the Proposal Rock Inn. It’s a building full of individually owned condos that are rented to folks to help pay for the mortgages when the owners aren’t using them. The one we got is on the 3rd floor so I got my exercise carting all our stuff up some pretty steep stairs. We’ll be here for four days so I guess this will have to do.

The others moved to Winema Beach. Literally. The RV parking spots are almost right on the beach. Perfect for riding scooters, if you have a scooter.

That’s what Les and Cliff did, without me, because I didn’t bring my scooter. They are only about 3 miles north of our condo and rode almost all the way to us before turning around to go back.

With Les leading, Cliff kept him in sight while enjoying the sights while scooting along near the surf line. Then danger struck when he saw something shiny on the sand. Stopping to investigate, he bent over to pick it up and was hit with a rogue wave which pretty much soaked him and drowned his scooter.

He had to push it about a mile back to the RV because the electric motor was (apparently) full of sea water. That’s not a good thing. He’s a crafty mechanic, however, and will no doubt resurrect it once he gets it home. Right after he replaces the microwave in the RV. The microwave went belly up in Newport.

I arrived for dinner at Susie’s and Cliff’s a little early so had time to get the full story about the scooter trip, but had forgotten about the demise of their microwave. During the course of getting things ready for dinner, Cliff picked up the dinner rolls to put on the table and suggested Susie warm them up in the microwave. Susie didn’t miss a beat and told him, “good idea. Why don’t you get on your scooter and drive them next door and use Sophie’s microwave?” It loses a little retelling that, but it was hilarious at the time.

That’s about it for now. We’ll be back home in a couple of days. I’ve received numerous suggestions about what to do with the RV to make it release the brakes. The best solution involves large hammer. I’ll let you know how that turns out.

Cheers!

Electric Cars

It’s been about a week or so since I discovered that authorities have intervened to prohibit one more electric car feature that had me right on the exciting verge of obtaining one of those vehicles. First it was the auto drive feature which really tweaked my interest from the start. I mean, how cool would it be to just set the vehicle to auto drive, then climb in the back seat for a nap while traversing the massively boring trip through LA. It’s normally a very slow trip so the danger of damage caused by a speeding, out of control vehicle is minimized. Still, I can see the potential for disastrous results if such technology fell into the hands of someone less responsible than my humble self.

It’s my understanding that the auto drive feature isn’t totally disabled. One can activate it but someone in the driver’s seat must keep both hands on the steering wheel. I’m actually OK with that because I think I could find a small child, who can’t reach the pedals, to sit in the driver’s seat and hang on to the steering wheel for me.

Now, after making the auto drive feature more difficult to use, they’ve taken away the games from the driver. I’m thinking, “Really! They allow us to install games on the iPad-like dashboard then make it illegal for the driver play them? What’s the point of that?” OK, they make it difficult for the driver to play because they will have to push a button to verify they aren’t driving. That makes sense, too.

I’m saying this with tongue in cheek because I’m not someone who plays games on my iPad. Therefore, in my electric car I would simply sit and watch while my passenger played. That makes sense, too, right? Quite a safety feature.

Now that I’ve got all that off my chest I’ll share that I think installing video games on a device that’s in a prominent position for both driver and passenger is about the most ignorant thing I’ve ever heard of. Making Tesla gaming available is like daring the driver to not play them while driving.

O, wait! People play on their phones all the time while driving so, perhaps, playing on a larger screen, installed in your dashboard, will make it easier to keep an eye on the road while playing since they won’t be looking down in their laps in an attempt to fool people into believing they aren’t playing with their phone. Until they run into someone. Then everyone knows.

The previous information is based on personal opinions of which I have many and, so far, opinions which I can share at will.

I’d continue but don’t have anything worthwhile to share. It would just be a continuation of the foregoing, wasting words for absolutely no reason.

Hope all is well with all of you.

Surprise!

Warning!! This is an old entry that I started on September 9th, I think, and never finished. But, it’s got a nice photo so I’m sending it anyway.

Right this very minute Diane and I are enjoying the unseasonable humidity and heat in Kehei, Maui, in a condo that doesn’t have A/C. I’ll expand on that later …

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Reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. Actually, I seriously doubt that anyone even considered something like that even though the last post I made was August 1st. I know that’s true because I looked. Since then an incredible number of ‘things’ have occurred that I simply won’t address because I don’t remember most of them.

An admission like that could possibly cause some of you to question the condition of my short-term memory but let me assure you there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that part of me. I say that with confidence because, at Diane’s request, I was tested and have been duly certified. I aced the test. Honest, I did. Ask Diane. I’m pretty sure she’ll concur.

Even so, I can’t possibly remember all the stuff that’s happened during the past month and I’m just lazy enough to not have any desire to search my calendar, like I used to, to review events. But I do remember what happened today, so that’s where I’ll start.

Diane and I are currently ensconced in a room at the Hillcrest Inn in Seaside, Oregon. I may have mentioned in previous posts, that we’ve been here before. We stay here because we live on Hillcrest Rd. in St. Helens and when Diane was concerned about my failing short-term memory she figured I’d be less likely to get lost if we stayed in a place with a similar name to our home street. Now that’s I’ve been certified, however, we just stay here because we like it.

The occasion for this visit is to be at the beach for a large minute tide. The kind where you can walk all the way around Haystack Rock when the tide is at its lowest. That’s what we plan to do around 0700 in the morning when the tide begins to go negative. That gives us a 2-hour window to make it around Haystack Rock. unfortunately, the tide didn’t go out quite far enough to make it around, but most of the tide pools around the monolith were accessible.

Sadly, I used my really good camera to take all the photos then I was unable to download them from the SIMM. Very odd.

This evening we sat in our chairs on the beach for a couple of hours watching the ocean. Then the birds came and began obscuring our view of the water. Well, they really didn’t obscure the view as much as cause a huge distraction. From our vantage point, about 1/4 mile from the water, we watched pelican’s soaring in graceful lines, dipping into the trough’s between waves, then rising briefly and soaring into the next trough. It was fascinating to watch. There were literally hundreds of them swooping south, then north for the entire time we were there.

Then we saw the smaller birds flying south, then north a little beyond the surf line in vast numbers. My first guess was that we were watching at least 37 million birds up and down the beach. That’s a huge number, I know, but I’m sure it’s close. Perhaps thousands would be more accurate but not nearly so astounding. Turns out they are cormorants and exhibit this kind of behavior this time of year on a regular basis. Neither Diane nor I had ever seen such a display before and it was quite amazing. The sea shimmered with the number of birds moving in vast herds just above the surface as they sped left (south) for half an hour, then right (north) for another half an hour to even things up. Back and forth they went, the entire two hours we watched them. We would have stayed longer but it got chilly, and dark.

It’s Been Fun, and Thanks for the Memories

Although we are scheduled to be home by September 30th, I think we can officially say we’re winding down, and heading home. Tonight will be our 3rd at the Bearmouth Chalet RV Park situated on the shores of the Clark Fork River. The river is between us and I-90, and the traffic noise is pretty loud, but it seems to just go away at night. Trains go by pretty often, too, but the same rule applies – tolerable at night.

The two hour trip from Kalispell to here took us 5 hours. That seems to be the way this trip has gone for every leg of this trip. Projected time provided by our maps and GPS units do not concur with reality. The common joke between the drivers for pretty much every leg of the trip is to hold up five fingers while stating that it’s only a 2 hour trip. Funny thing

Things would have been a little closer the projection, but one of us developed an issue with brakes climbing the hills going south making the trip down a little exciting. Stepping on the brake pedal and not getting any resistance before it bottoms out is a bit concerning, and terrifying. Especially when you’re driving a 30+ ft Class A RV.

The problem was solved by puling to the side of Highway 93 and letting everything cool off for a while. Hence, the added time for the trip. The master brake cylinder is physically located about 6-8 inches from the exhaust manifold causing the brake fluid to boil and lose it’s compression properties. Wrapping the master cylinder with a moldable aluminum baking pan added the additional protection that got us safely to our destination. It should serve us well for the remainder of the trip, also.

Prior to leaving Kalispell, we had a celebratory birthday dinner/party for Susie.

Diane, Susie, and Carolann spent a lot of their free time looking ahead to our next parking place. Without their efforts we would have had a hard time getting from one place to another. We all agreed that knowing where we’re going to land at the next stop is important. Takes a lot of stress off the drivers. Diane was normally the one who made the final phone call for reservations and she’s really good at it. Makes life on the road way better.

After Kalispell our next stop was at the BearMouth Chalet & RV Park on the shores of the Clark Fork River which just happened to be on the same exit (138) as the exit for the Garnet Ghost Town. All of that is a few miles east of Missoula.

The next day we took a drive up the mountain to the ghost town and spent a few hours looking through the remaining buildings. Much of the furnishings were still in place giving us a good idea of what it must have been like to live in such a primitive manner. Not an easy life for the miners and their families. Getting there was an adventure in itself as it was 15 miles off the main road, most of it gravel and one lane. Fun stuff. At times the sheer side of the road was a couple hundred feed down, but there were always a lot of trees to break the fall should someone wander off the road.

River’s Edge Resort was our next stop near the small village of Alberton, Montana. Beautiful spot on the banks of the Clark Fork River. Had a riverside dinner to end this brief stay.

Then we bedded down for the night preparing for the next leg of this epic venture.

Later.

“Camping at Umpqua Lighthouse State Park”

Here we are, tethered to slot #8 at the Umpqua Lighthouse State Park campground. Finally!

This is a park Diane has been wanting to visit for a long time but circumstances didn’t work out until recently. She was a little giddy when she made the reservations. It’s really good to see her so happy like that. Makes me happy, too.

Getting here was an unexpected challenge that nearly destroyed our RV and the tow car and it was all because of our decision to take the road less travelled. The reason for that, we discovered, was because it was pretty narrow in spots making it difficult to keep the rig in the lane without going over the center line. Early on, during this route, the right front wheel leaned a little too far right, going over the white line designating the bike lane, you’d think, but it was only about 6″ wide. Consequently, the tire made it all the way off the asphalt, causing a lot of jittering and a bit of fear as I worked to get it back on the road. Which I did. Diane was in the back cooking something, I think, or getting something from the fridge, so wasn’t looking out the windshield to see what was going on. That was a good thing. She would have absolutely freaked out! Really! I can say that with confidence because she was in the navigator’s chair the next time it happened and she was praising Jesus to save us all.

The same kind of thing happened but the bike lane wasn’t even 6″ wide as the asphalt terminated at the outer edge of the white line. So, technically, there was no bike lane at all. It was just a white line, then nothing. This particular event happened as the road curved to the right a little with traffic coming at me from every which direction. The right front made it off the road, then the right back tire went off, then the tow car went entirely into the ditch. I learned that from the guy who was behind us watching the entire show.

I felt the car pull the RV’s back end around about the time I got the front wheels on the asphalt then the RV’s back tires miraculously also grabbed a little asphalt giving me some traction to work with. At that time I was heading across the road with my front wheels turned to the right, then the car must have left the ditch and started the old wobbly back and forth that I’ve experienced before which seems to be a “thing” with the Equinox.

I was able to get the RV back into my lane while slowing down as much as possible. By this time I was probably going about 15 mph, but all that stuff going on behind me made it all pretty exciting.

I got the wobbly to stop, turned a corner onto a major road then pulled over and stopped to see what the damage was. At this time I was still unaware that the tow car had been in the ditch. The guy behind me also pulled over and stopped in front of me and told me he thought the car was going to roll over as it was entirely in the ditch and he wasn’t really sure how I managed to get it all back together.

The entire event probably took 15 seconds, start to stop, and Diane was making sure Jesus was paying attention. I’m pretty sure he was because other than a little mud splattered all over Diane’s white car, there was no apparent damage. So, we buckled up and continued on our way. There were no more experiences like that for the remainder of the trip.

Then we exited Highway 101 in Winchester Bay following the GPS directions, looking for Umpqua Lighthouse State Park. The GPS took us past at least 7 nice RV parks and led us out into the middle of a parking lot where folks who ride quads in the sand gather to unload their equipment. There was no park in site. Just this huge parking lot surrounded by sand. I found a gentleman and asked for directions which his wife gave as she knew what we were looking for. All we had to do was go back the way we came and go past the first 3 campgrounds and turn right on Lighthouse Road. We did that and drove past the Umpqua lighthouse, around a few corners then back out to Highway 101. Nowhere was there any evidence of a campground. So, we went around again and stopped in the parking lot near the lighthouse and I walked back to what appeared to be an occupied 5th wheel nearby.

I knocked on their door and caused a dog to light up the surrounding area with a serious round of barking. Finally, the door was opened and I explained my dilemma. The lady of the house ensured me that we were very close to our destination then gave me some very detailed directions on how to get there.

Without going into more detail, we were able to reach our objective and get connected to power and water before darkness claimed the day. For once in my life I was thankful for daylight saving time. We would have never found this place in the dark.

The problem is, you see, that the GPS made us turn on the wrong road, leading us around to the back of the park. Then, going up Lighthouse Road from where we were wasn’t useful because the sign for the park can only be seen coming from the other direction. Pretty handy, right?

We got settled, had dinner, read our books for a while, went to bed and I slept for almost 9 hours. That’s totally unlike my bladder to allow me to do that. I was amazed. Pleased, but amazed.

Then I went outside to have another look at the car. Although it started pouring rain about the time we settled down, the car was still dirty. But, all the parts seemed to be there and nothing was dented.

After breakfast we decided to take a ride and check out our surroundings. Shortly into the trip it was obvious that things were different as there was an odd odor creeping into the car, and something was dragging on the pavement. A quick look under the hood solve the odor – it was debris from the ditch that had been tossed all over the engine that was being heated by the engine. The item dragging on the pavement was a piece of the right front fender well that had come unsnapped from whatever kept it in place. Not in the mood to give it a lot of attention, I just bent it up away from the road and called it good.

The scraping sound went away and after about 10 miles so did the odor.

Considering all of the possibilities for what could have happened to us we could only look at each other and know, for sure, that we were blessed. Apparently we both have more to do in this world and apparently we’ll need the RV and tow car to do it.

Thank you Jesus!

Errands, a Vaccination, & Pork Chops

I’ve been in a bit of a daze over the last eleven days since my last post. Some of you may think that’s normal for me, and perhaps you’re correct. I readily admit that my thoughts are easily scattered making it difficult for me to distinguish fact and fiction. Since fiction is my favorite form of reading material I tend to lean heavily in the direction. Continuing with the scattered theme, that’s kinda what this post will be about.

The other day I was summoned to Daniel & Jennifer’s home to pick up some documents that needed to be scanned and some mail Jennifer wished me to mail. Oh, and deliver her water bill to the appropriate box at the water department.

When I arrived to accomplish these things, Jennifer took my photo.

She thought she’d have it to share with her friends to show them what a goofball I am. What she didn’t know was that I wound up at her door in this manner because her Mother expressly forbid me to leave the house looking like this. I admit I was flirting with danger doing this, but it’s tough for me to back away from a challenge like that. Plus, I had strong notions about going to Walmart while I was out. On the trip, however, I re-evaluated that course of action because it was daylight and it’s my understanding that people don’t usually go to Walmart dressed like this during the day. It’s evening garb. I could be wrong about that, but figured not going was erring on the side of caution.

I’ve been talking with Cedric a lot via email lately and that’s fun. He’s stationed aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN-68), in case I haven’t mentioned that early. The ship has been deployed for almost a year now. That’s a long time at sea. With the COVID pandemic they don’t get port visits like a normal WESTPAC cruise. That, and with Iran playing games with missiles, the ship is always on alert. Just recently Iran planted one in the ocean abour a 100 miles from the Nimitz, just to say “Hi!”

Cedric is weathering the cruise nicely and is looking forward to getting back Stateside. He will be discharged not long after they return.

Today was a banner day for me. Diane drove me to the VA Hospital so I could get my 1st COVID vaccination shot. I made the appointment online and it was a very simple process. Here’s the shirt I wore…

The nurses all wanted one. Since I got it from Daniel, my son-in-law, I gave them all his email address and phone number so he could help them. Actually, that’s a lie. I didn’t do that, but it might have been fun to see how many of them would have called or emailed him. But I didn’t. Honest.

I spent a total of 25 minutes in the hospital rom the time I checked in to the auditorium until I left the building. That included filling out a form, getting the shot, then sitting in a chair for 15 minutes to see if I could do it without falling on the floor.

The nurse was great. Didn’t get her name so I’ll call her Ruby. That’s a fun name. The first thing I asked her was if the needle was really as huge as the ones the news has been showing us for weeks now. They just looked overly large, and they always showed the nurse pushing it into someone’s are really slow. Ruby and I talked about that a little bit and she assured me the needle was normal size and she would be quick about it. She even let me take a photo of her in action …

I found Diane parked pretty close to the front door and we had a nice ride home. When we got there., I fried up some pork chops for lunch …

They were really good. I marinated them in some Yoshidas teriyaki stuff that I found in the cupboard. It was brand new, never opened, and had an expiration date of October 2018. Looked good to me. Tasted good, too.

Now, many hours after the shot, my arm is really sore. I’m not sure if it’s all because of the shot, or partially because Diane had me help her scrub the little black dog. That, my friends, is a risky job. He’s pretty blind and isn’t really fond of water so his goes on high alert to protect himself and gets quite aggressive. Thankfully, I have some heavy duty leather gloves to wear during this evolution. I hold him while Diane does the scrubbing. It only took about an hour.

Now I’m going to go sit with Diane and watch news for a while.

Stay safe out there and don’t neglect to get your shot when given the opportunity.

Dazed & Confused

I don’t know where to start with this today. So much has been happening that my mind is frizzled just a bit in an effort to make sense of events.

First: The new windows we had installed earlier in the week work great. We removed the Anderson windows that were installed in 1957, which were nice but not very good with insulation, and replaced them with brand new 2020 double pane Anderson windows. Not only is the insulation noticeably better, the windows help with dimming down outside noise. That was unexpected, but it makes sense. So, life is good. Now all I have to do is save up enough money to buy enough lumber to trim all the windows. Diane want it to be oak and my first rough estimate is I need about 325 board feet to get it done. I will measure again just to make sure, of course. Diane insists. This shouldn’t take me much more than a year and a half, give or take a few months either way.

Second: COVID has involved itself with our lives. Our granddaughter tested positive about a week ago. She recently turned 21 so I accused her, kiddingly, that she shouldn’t have been hanging out at all those bars. She wasn’t and I knew that. She knew I knew it, too. Her symptoms are mild but still it’s not anything to trifle with so we will remain concerned for now. Also in the family, our daughter, Jennifer and hubby Daniel, are fostering Daniel’s great nephew who was recently diagnosed with COVID. He’s only 8-months-old. Everyone else in the family tested negative. Diane and I don’t count because we’re old and don’t go anywhere. We’re very good sequesterers. Professional, you might say, and we’re just fine with that.

Third: How about that mini-Revolution we had yesterday. Diane and I watched the events as they unfolded and were astounded that only one person was shot. What a mess. I won’t expound on this because I avoid political issues on this forum. I have opinions, of course, but I’m pretty sure none of you want to ‘hear’ about them.

Fourth: I had an “in person” eye appointment at the VA hospital with a nice young lady named Jahaila. She’s working at the VA as an intern and will graduate in May as a real deal Doctor. I enjoyed my visit and look forward to getting my new glasses in a few weeks. I think the glasses are made in Boise, last I heard, and they have a heavy workload, hence the delay. I think the glasses are delivered to our local post office by two guys on a tandem bicycle who’s sole purpose in life is to deliver glasses for the VA. For safety, they only travel backroads, never on freeways. In towns they are allowed to ride on the sidewalks because the guy in the back is legally blind. Since he isn’t steering, that’s OK. He’s really only there to pedal, really hard, and isn’t in any way responsible for anything they run over, or into, during their delivery trips. They’ve been doing this for many years now so they must really be careful.

This is the view from the 8th floor elevator lobby of the Portland VA Hospital.

Fifth: Diane’s Mom’s light over her sink burned out so I replaced it after we got back from the VA. Putting in a new bulb didn’t fix it so I got out my trusty multi meter and didn’t learn a thing that would lead to a solution. So, I called my friend, Doug, who used to be a professional electrician for some insight. He tells me that his knowledge of codes terminates around 2010 so he limits his involvement with the understanding that anything he shares isn’t useful with regard to current codes. We kibutzed a bit and he managed to lead me in a direction that will probably allow me to resolve the problem on my own. Tomorrow will tell the tail. All I have to do is remember what he told me. It would be easier with notes but he stresses the importance of not taking notes during our visits because something could go wrong which could result in a visit from the police. I understand his concern, so there are no notes. Just my faulty memory. We’ll see how that goes.

Now it’s time for me to stop all activity for the day and go sit with Diane to make sure she doesn’t watch too many shows about renovating houses. They leave her giddy with possibilities about our home. Thankfully, we live a long way from Waco so we can’t feasibly engage Chip and Joann to fix our house. It would be nice, though. Wouldn’t it be funny if they read this and decided to come visit? I’ll be sure to let you know if that happens. Honest, I will.

Now I must stop and report that a lot of what you just read is false. I can’t help myself.

G’nite.